If you told people that you saw an alligator with a knife sticking out of its head, they’d tell you it was one big croc.
But the bizarre sighting did actually happen in Texas, in the family friendly neighbourhood of Orchard Lakes Estates.
The lakeside community is known for its large reptiles, and seeing an alligator is a daily occurrence — just not with a huge kitchen knife lodged in its skull.
Orchard Lakes resident Erin Weaver, who has lived there for six years, claimed that she’d never seen anything like this before.
“I saw him swimming and then I saw him turn, like swimming towards me, and I saw something sticking out of his head,” said Erin Weaver to ABC affiliate ABC13. “It looked like a steak knife that was sticking out of his head, I don’t know if it was in his eye, but it looked… if it wasn’t in his eye it was very close to his eye.”
“Almost every morning I see them,” she continued. “Never have I seen them aggressive or even defensive. If you walk by and startle, they just go underwater.”
Weaver managed to get a photo of the animal as it breached the lake surface, and posted it to numerous neighbourhood social media groups, triggering outrage and dismay for the alligator. WDBJ7 reports that a Texas Parks and Wildlife game warden is coming to the community on Monday to get a closer look at the animal, and evacuate it for medical care if necessary.
“I feel that somebody did this on purpose,” said Weaver. “I can’t imagine this animal going after somebody that they would have to defend themselves, because we’ve never had that happen before. I want to get help for this alligator, I don’t want to see an alligator swimming around with a knife in his head and suffering.”
As of this writing, it’s unclear how the knife got so lodged in the animal’s skull, or who did it. Superintendent Chris Bishop of Brazos Bend State Park, a nearby park full of diverse wildlife, said that alligators are naturally “resilient” creatures and the animal is most likely not in any pain. Judging from the photos, it seems that it’s functioning normally otherwise.
Texas state law bans the harassment, killing or possession of alligators.